His Dark Materials
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Classic movie with a great cast, but, i thought the story was lacking a bit and certainly didn't finish well with a lot of loose ends that leaves you hanging.
Disappointing to be honest. The performances were very good and I liked the slow pacing at the beginning and throughout the film. However, this is why it was so perplexing that the film ended so abruptly. This similarity happened with films I recently watched such as The Paradine Case and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. I don't know if the book ends the same as the film. Scenarios with the mother and brother, I feel, did not come to a satisfying conclusion. Jo Van Fleet was good though I would not call it an Oscar-winning performance. James Dean was very good throughout the movie and well-deserving of an Oscar nomination. However, compared to another actor nominated in the same category of that year; James Cagney, the Love Me or Leave Me actor comes out on top.
One of the most beautiful films of the '50s. Dated, yet still emotionally fulfilling and heartbreaking. Second only to On the Waterfront in 50's American Cinema.
Well, if you expect it to follow the novel in either plot, characters, insight, hair styles, complexity, or just a vague idea that there once lived a man called Steinbeck, do yourself a favour and read Cannery Row inste
Maybe I shouldn't have read the book immediately before diving into this big-screen adaptation. Even still, I'm quite sure I wouldn't have cared for it. Elia Kazan's altered, stripped-down take on John Steinbeck's classic tome discards several crucial characters, corrupts a few more, pointlessly changes themes and completely misses the point of its source material.
Lee and Samuel, the novel's two most enduring, intriguing moral anchors, are completely excluded from the cinematic take, and in their absence the remaining cast seems to move without a firm direction, lashing out and contradicting themselves. It's shocking, how few genuinely likable characters remain in the finished film. Cal, deeply conflicted but relatable in the novel, is repurposed into a brooding, reckless, self-pitying brat in a barely-contained turn by James Dean. Aron, his naive, virtuous twin brother, becomes a sanctimonious, temperamental jerk whose sudden collapse musters little sympathy. Their father, who always meant well, despite his struggles with a bitter past, is now a two-dimensional hypocrite without depth. It's not the first time I've seen a movie divert so wildly from its roots, but it's a particularly bad example of doing so without just cause.
The production does deserve credit for experimentation, although even those fruits are a mixed bag. Stutters and stumbles are left in the dialog, which lends an unusual sense of spontaneity and honesty, but also accentuates Dean as a very awkward, rough-edged actor, not quite ready for the spotlight that's been shone upon him. Frequently ambitious camera angles scratch a creative itch, but distract from the important plot developments proceeding within. The entire film is like this, brimming like a potful of ideas, half-cooked and then served as a chewy, unrewarding finished product.
In essence, it's a bit of a phantom, bearing the ghost of a great premise but lacking in substance and heart. Threads are weakly pursued and then abandoned. Resolutions, if and when we get them, pack very little emotional punch. I expected much more. What an underachievement.
Shot beautifully for it's time, "East of Eden" is a poignant story.
They don't make potboilers like this anymore. After this film, why should anyone even try? Melodramatic to the inth degree, gleefully overacted and directed by a sledgehammer, it still remains the best of its kind. Free up an evening, make some popcorn, a vodka 7 and enjoy
The best movie ever made! With the best movie score ever composed!
i thought this was pretty good
The best of James Dean's 3 movies. He has the sad accolade of never having made a poor film. East of Eden is a beautifully shot, brilliantly crafted tale of teenage angst loosely based on the story of Cain and Abel. Dean is just electric in this film and the characterisation is superb.